Information regarding permit to import small quantities of insecticides for test & trial was denied u/s 8 (1) (d) - CIC: Appellant’s allegation regarding release of the insecticides into the market cannot be treated as the ground of larger public interest
Date of decision : : 5th January 2017
This matter concerns an RTI application filed by the Appellant, seeking information regarding permit to import small quantities of insecticides/chemical for test and trial etc. The information was sought in a tabular form, containing ten columns.
The CPIO reply
No reply given.
Grounds of the First Appeal
No information provided.
Order of the First Appellate Authority
No order passed.
Grounds of the Second Appeal
Information sought not provided.
Relevant facts emerging during the Hearing,
Discussion and Decision
The Appellant stated that the information sought by him has not been provided. The Respondents stated that a reply was sent to the Appellant on 20.4.2015. The Appellant stated that he did receive the above reply, but it did not contain the information sought by him. The Appellant did not seem to be fully conversant with the contents of his own RTI application. On being asked to specify the period for which the information was required by him, he stated that he was in need of it for a period of five years. However, on perusal of his RTI application, it is seen that the information was sought since 1999 till the date of the RTI application.
2. The Respondents reiterated the reply dated 20.4.2015 of the CPIO (a copy has been given to us for our records), in which he stated that the RTT is the first stage of development of a product likely to be registered. Therefore, the information sought pertained to third parties and could not be divulged. The representative of the Respondents stated that the information sought is a matter of commercial confidence for the parties to whom import permits are issued to import small quantities of insecticides for research, testing and trial (RTT) purposes only. Such small quantities that are imported are not meant for release in the market and are the first stage for development of other insecticide products. Such insecticide products, when developed, need a separate clearance for being marketed for use. He further submitted that the names of the parties authorised to import small quantities of insecticides / chemicals for test and trial are disclosed at the time of issuance of the permit. However, no further information is revealed as it concerns their research and trial activities to develop insecticides for eventual marketing on the basis of a separate clearance obtained at that stage. Therefore, the disclosure of the complete information, sought by the Appellant would harm the competitive position of the parties concerned by disclosing information concerning their research and testing activities etc. Accordingly, it is exempted from disclosure under Section 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act. The Appellant alleged that the quantities being imported for trial and testing are also being released in the market in some cases.
3. We have considered the submissions of both the parties. In the light of the position explained by the Respondents, we see no ground to interfere with their decision to deny the information in this case. The Appellant has not established any larger public interest for disclosure of the information sought by him. His allegation regarding release of the quantities, imported for test and trial, into the market cannot be treated as the ground of larger public interest.
4. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
5. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Ramakant Tiwari v. Agriculture Krishi Bhawan and Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage in File No. CIC/SH/A/2015/002238